The old military batteries at Fort Worden are super fun; the kids love running through the dark blind tunnels, finding passages and secret rooms, and starting at one end and seeing where they’ll come out. We’ve gone back several times, and each time I’ve thought that we really needed to bring the Burton kids there to run around with us. So we finally got them to go with us, and it was EXACTLY what I thought it would be— kids running, playing, and having a great time in a cool place. The Burton kids are VERY fun, willing to take risks and have adventures, to get wet and get dirty. We feel a sense of connection with their parents, too– it might be because they are from Montana (close to Kalispell), were raised doing the same things and going to the same places Matt did as a kid, and are still connected with Matt’s family–and they have been stationed here in Bremerton with us. They love being outside, going to beaches, and living the simple kind of life we do. Now they are busting out of the Navy and moving back to Montana.
I’ve learned a lot from them about the kind of parent and person I want to be, and about the possibilities for how people can be in the world. It’s a pretty sad and strange feeling to know that after developing a relationship with a friend, you most likely won’t ever see them again. It’s the kind of thing we try not to dwell much on in the military, in order to survive having to do this so often. We will sure miss you guys and always remember you and your influence on us.